Antiphonal Airs is a mixilating series of poems from poet-musician Joseph Noble. Some are improvisational riffs on specific composers, their lives and work, and some imitate the sonic movement and aleatoric rhythm of music itself. Noble works between polyphony and monody, his poetic lines mirroring the development of the seconda practica of the Baroque, in which the form of vocal music was made reflect and fit the meaning of the words. He follows the Orphic muse through music’s different phases and stylings, from the primal to the ornate, always following Hazrat Inayat Khan’s dictum that the world and its language come to us through sound and vibrations. Antiphonal Airs follows An Ives Set, which explored mercurial compositions of Charles Ives, and about which Andrew Joron wrote - “Noble has somehow tinkered a radio out of words, and tuned it to receive transmissions from a lost paradise of music. Yet Noble’s line is listening, not to sound alone, but to pure pattern. Here, writing itself is graphically recast as a rhythmics of perception.”
Joseph Noble lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area, where also he plays flutes and saxophones in the band Cloud Shepherd with fellow poets Andrew Joron and Brian Lucas. His first full length book of poetry, An Ives Set, was published by lyric& Press in 2006.